Why College X - An Extraordinary Ordinary Day

Essay Prompt

Other parts of your application give us a sense for how you might contribute to Northwestern. But we also want to consider how Northwestern will contribute to your interests and goals. Help us understand what aspects of Northwestern appeal most to you, and how you'll make use of specific resources and opportunities here. (300 words)

Sample Essay

Why Northwestern? Because this is how I imagine an ordinary day in my college career there.

I roll out of bed and head out for my Creative Nonfiction class. It’s a new genre for me and since I’m still not sure what kind of writer I want to be (historical novelist, journalist, or corporate branding guru are all possibilities), I’m enjoying exploring all genres here.  After class, I linger a bit to talk with Professor Bresland about whether he thinks I can polish up one of my assignments and submit it in the annual English department competition for the Edwin L. Shuman Award for Creative Nonfiction Essay. He says absolutely and I leave class elated. Off to my next class, then a quick lunch with my roommate.

After lunch, I hustle off to meet with another member of the PROMPT Literary Magazine staff. We’re in charge of coordinating one of the writer’s workshops. Since I got involved with the magazine after attending one of those workshops, I want to make sure this one is great. (Pay it forward and all that.) Once our meeting concludes, I’m off to my favorite quiet study space -- the Art and Architecture reading room on the 3rd floor of Deering Library. The art around me inspires and I happily dig into my reading until dinner time.

Dinner is with a group of friends who like to explore Chicago neighborhoods and restaurants. Since I’ll try anything once, I’m all in for the plan to go to an authentic Chinese place that serves “stinky tofu.” (How bad can it be?)

Interesting classes, writing opportunities galore, and fabulous friends; these are the ingredients of a perfectly extraordinary ordinary day for me at Northwestern. That’s why.

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